The High Court of Cassation & Justice has recently ruled that private bank employees qualify as ‘civil servants’ under Criminal Code provisions that govern embezzlement and other types of banking fraud. The defendants in the case argued that because they were employees of a private banking firm, they were not subject to the provisions of Art. 175 par. (2) of the Criminal Code. HCCJ held that such employees, although working for a private banking institution, met the three-prong test under the Code provision that defines civil servants. The Court analyzed each of the three prongs in this instance, which are:
1. the person performs a service of public interest,
2. the performance of that public service must be subject to control or supervision, and
3. the control or supervision is exercised by a public authority.
The Court held that the defendant employees met each of the three qualifications. The Court noted that the field of banking is highly regulated and that while the bank employing defendants was privately owned, it was nevertheless heavily regulated and supervised by the Romanian National Bank and therefore had certain obligations in the public interest.